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There's Snow Place Like Outside

Fun in the Sun as they say,

…..or the Snow in typical New England fashion.

Weather is such an unpredictable thing, especially here in New England, and no one can control it. The meteorologists sure think they have a handle on things, but Mother Nature will do whatever she wants, when she wants. It could be 60 degrees in February and the next day we could have 6 inches of snow with freezing temperatures, not speaking from experience or anything. All the while I am sure Mother Nature is laughing at us and wondering what other fun she can throw our way.

Fun. Defined in the dictionary mostly as a source of enjoyment, amusement, and oftentimes pleasure.

You are probably asking yourself, how can unpredictable weather be considered fun, especially for us adults? How are we supposed to dress? How will this weather impact our commute to work or for running errands? How are we supposed to deal with the kids all day if they have no school? So many worries and responsibilities that fun is far from our minds.

I remember as a kid the joy and giddiness of knowing we were going to get a lot of snow, praying for a snow day just to be able to play outside and build a snowman or go sledding. I used to get so happy when my parents would tell me there was no school the next day. My brother and I would spend hours and hours in the snow. We would be outside so long that our cheeks were way past rosy, but we wouldn’t come inside until we were exhausted or we were too cold to move anymore. That to me encapsulated pure fun.

Now as an adult, it sounds more daunting than ever. Why would I willingly go outside and freeze, when I could just stay on my couch, under my warm blanket with a good book in my hand and a fire going in the fireplace? Hibernation just sounds so much better, much more in my comfort zone, which I would bet 50% of you would attest to as well.

Did you ever wonder though why bears seem so grumpy when they wake up from a deep hibernation? I don’t know from experience, as I have never actually met a bear, but in all the books and movies I have read and seen, it always seems like the bear is just super grumpy when he wakes up. There could be good reasons for that: deep sleep, not enough sunlight, no body movements, the list goes on. Bears sure can handle hibernation way better than humans since they were born doing it, but humans, as sad as it is to say, are just not meant to hibernate.

Scientists have long studied the effects of being inside for long periods of time and how it truly affects humans and their results have stated the same: that it is said to increase depression, anxiety, stress and throw off our natural rhythms. I am sure a lot of us have felt those effects before, sometimes without even knowing. Getting outside, even for a little bit, is the key to bringing a little bit of vitamin D back into your body, lifting your mood, and bringing back the memories of fun.

Have you ever noticed that when you take a deep breath of fresh air, your body just seems to lighten up a little bit and you feel happier? If you breathe deeply enough can you remember the joys of when you were younger and playing outside, regardless of the temperature? I have and just recently in fact.

I breathed deeply and I was transported back to my sledding years again, although this time I was an adult. I was definitely feeling the lows of “hibernation” during this year's blizzard. My husband and I were recovering from being sick and I was sure I was feeling the effects of being stuck inside. My house seemed stuffy, I noticed all the things that I had to do within the house that I hadn’t done and I just wanted to move and feel alive and like myself again.

It had just snowed a few days before (I believe they coined it the Blizzard of 2022) and it hadn’t melted yet since it had been consistently cold outside. We have this big hill on our property that was the perfect size for sledding. Although I was not feeling 100% better yet, I got my coat on, put on my boots, dragged a sled with me, and stepped outside to feel the bitter cold against my cheeks. Man did it feel great even though it was a high of maybe 25 degrees! I took a deep breath and instantly I felt 100 times better than I did 10 seconds earlier. My husband joined me on the hill and we slid down on my old and now retro Radio Flyer wooden sled, for what seemed like hours. I could definitely not feel my nose or my toes at the end, but it was worth it. We were kids again just having fun outside, not caring that we weren’t feeling the best or that the house needed to be cleaned, or that we had to work in the morning. Just having some good old fashioned outdoor fun.

The perfect remedy that we all need sometimes, to cure some of those winter blues and to get up and out of a hibernation.

Randolph readers, do you remember a time as an adult that you had so much fun outside, regardless of the weather? How did it make you feel? Picture that feeling and ask yourself, How can I bring back that simple joy and feeling into my life again? What can I do to be the best that I can be?

Step outside and enjoy the little things around you.

*As a side note, we are not medical professionals, this is not an advice column, and if you do seek mental or medical help, please refer to your doctor.

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